IDAHO — The oldest brother of two missing Idaho children made a public plea on social media, asking his mother to “do the right thing” as the investigation continues into the disappearance of Joshua “JJ” Vallow and Tylee Ryan.
Colby Ryan recorded a video directed at his mother Lori Daybell (formerly Vallow). Rexburg Police have said she won’t tell them where her kids are and has lied about the kids’ whereabouts.
“You have the power to end this,” Colby said, looking at the camera. “You have an opportunity to put this all to rest.”
He said he wants Tylee and JJ to be safe, and he wants them to be okay. “And I want you to find it in your heart to help this situation,” Colby said, to his mom.
His video comes as the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office in Idaho released a list of items they removed from the Daybell home, in connection with the children’s stepfather Chad Daybell.
Idaho law enforcement and the FBI spent all of Friday pouring over Chad’s home, and said they were looking for evidence in the death of Chad’s late wife, Tammy Daybell.
They said they collected 43 items, including computers, cell phones, journals, documents and medications. Forensic experts will now examine the items.
Tammy died in October, shortly before Chad and Lori Daybell married.
The kids mysteriously vanished in September. Tammy’s death and the children’s disappearance has turned into a complex case for Idaho authorities and the FBI, as they piece together complicated elements.
The missing children
JJ is Lori’s adopted son, and is biologically related to her late husband, Charles Vallow. Lori’s husband before Charles, Joseph Ryan, passed away in 2018, according to family. Family members have said he was Tylee’s father.
Charles died in July of 2019 after Lori’s brother Alex Cox shot him in Arizona, claiming self-defense.
Documents show Charles wanted to divorce Lori because of her supposed radical religious beliefs.
“When he died, JJ was in danger,” said JJ’s biological grandmother and Charles’s sister, Kay Woodcock, during an interview with FOX 13 over the weekend.
Less than two months after the death of Charles, Lori moved to Rexburg, Idaho with the two kids and her brother.
It’s near where Chad Daybell lived with Tammy. Chad is an author, whose books focus on religion and the end of the world.
One of Chad's friends said he shared his visions of Tammy's death.
Both Chad and Lori had affiliations with a religious group that some family members believe is a dangerous cult.
Lori and her brother moved into the same townhouse complex in Rexburg, where neighbor Seth Bernard said he met Tylee and often saw JJ playing outside.
“It's crazy,” Seth said. “Baffling how we knew these kids. They were playing with my kids, and all of a sudden — poof, they're gone.”
Rexburg Police said JJ was last seen at his school, Kennedy Elementary on September 23. Tylee, police have said, disappeared around the same time.
Seth said he was told JJ went to live with his grandparents, which police said isn’t true.
The suspicious death
Less than a month later, Tammy Daybell passed away in her home. At first, the coroner ruled it as natural causes.
However, the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office later called Tammy’s death suspicious.
In mid-December, authorities exhumed Tammy’s body for an autopsy. The next day, Lori’s brother Alex Cox died in Arizona. The cause of his death has not been released.
“Still do not know the results from the autopsy,” Fremont County Sheriff Len Humphries said, of Tammy. “Will probably be another couple of weeks at best.”
While they await autopsy results, they obtained a search warrant and poured through the Daybell home in Salem, Idaho on Friday.
The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office worked with the FBI and Rexburg Police to collect the 43 items in search of answers.
Newlywed couple refuses to cooperate
After Tammy died, Chad and Lori married. Rexburg Police, at the prompting of JJ’s family, began to investigate what happened to JJ and Tylee.
They later said witnesses told police that Lori claimed Tylee had died a year before her father, Joseph Ryan, died. Police also said Chad told people that Lori didn’t have any minor children.
Two days before Thanksgiving, Seth said he saw Lori and her brother packing up her brother’s truck.
“They were loading stuff,” he said. “Next morning, boom. They're gone.”
The next morning, the day before Thanksgiving, he and other neighbors saw police and the FBI raid Lori and her brother’s townhomes.
Rexburg Police said they believe Lori and Chad left the state, and refuse to cooperate. The couple’s lawyer released a brief statement from them, saying, “We look forward to addressing the allegations once they have moved beyond speculation and rumor.”
Colby is begging his mom for this to end.
“I know that you have a good heart” he said, in his video. “It’s time. It’s time to do the right thing.”